Sunday , Feb , 01 , 2009 Oly Sandor

How Los Angeles Lakers handle Andrew Bynum’s injury

Saturday’s win over Memphis had Los Angeles singing the blues. The Lakers’ disappointment was understandable: post Andrew Bynum sprained his knee in the first quarter against the Grizzlies. This is the second consecutive season that the up-and-coming big man has sustained a mid-season injury. Like last year, the timing is poor -Bynum was rounding into form and finally providing that inside presence …


How Los Angeles Lakers handle Andrew Bynum's injuryBreaking News mixed with analysis … 

Their News:  "Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum left the game against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first quarter Saturday night with a sprained right knee.

Lakers officials said X-rays were negative and further tests will be done Sunday in New York. The Lakers play the Knicks on Monday night.

The injury occurred at about the 7-minute mark of the first quarter under the Lakers’ basket. Kobe Bryant drove to the basket, missed the shot and crashed into Bynum’s right leg. Bynum immediately grabbed his knee."  (ESPN news via the Associated Press)

Our Very Quick Analysis: Saturday’s win over Memphis had Los Angeles singing the blues. The Lakers’ disappointment was understandable: post Andrew Bynum sprained his knee in the first quarter against the Grizzlies.  

This is the second consecutive season that the up-and-coming big man has sustained a mid-season injury. Like last year, the timing is poor -Bynum was rounding into form and finally providing an inside presence.

The young pro is expected to miss four-to-five weeks. However, last season’s knee troubles lingered longer than expected, which forced Bynum to miss the playoffs.

What are Hollywood’s options down the middle? They can’t afford a stretch of mediocre play with the red-hot Spurs challenging for first in the Western Conference.

Last year, after Bynum’s injury, Pau Gasol played center and Lamar Odom manned the power forward spot. This duo helped Los Angeles qualify for the NBA Finals, but they struggled against a bigger Boston squad. Gasol, even with his weight training, is a skilled four-man, while Odom is suited to his current sixth man role. Still, the ‘Spaniard’ and ‘Southpaw’ make an excellent second option in the frontcourt.

GM Mitch Kupchak could look outside the organization for depth. Oklahoma’s Joe Smith, while hardly a defensive gem, would bring experience and professionalism in the short-term. Best of all Smith has a cheap, expiring contract.

If Bynum’s injury lingers, Kupchak could inquire into Marcus Camby’s availability. Los Angeles’ other team has a crowded frontcourt and the veteran only has a season and a half remaining on his contract at seven million dollars per season. Of course, would the Clippers really help their cross-town rivals?

Hopefully, Bynum recovers. With a five-man protecting the lane, the Lakers are a stronger team.

How will the Lakers handle Bynum injury? Get at us with thoughts in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe the Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of Culture Shlock